Thursday, October 28, 2010

Coaching boys into inmates

by Carol Wick, CEO
Harbor House of Central Florida

By now, many of you have probably read Mike Bianchi’s column that was in the Sentinel yesterday. That same article was noted by Jeff Schultz, a columnist from the Atlanta Journal Constitution yesterday. But what I find very interesting to the work we do here in Central Florida is not what the reporters wrote but the comments that follow the articles.

ALL of the reporters I know state that they never read the comments and I can understand why. I do. What is really fascinating in this case is the difference between the comments from readers in Atlanta, GA and those in Central Florida. It really helps shine a spotlight on why we have such a high instance of DV here, even more than in Atlanta.

The comments from Orlando are mainly filled with hate, victim blaming, and talk about how women are really the batterers and men are victims. In contrast, the AJC comments are almost wholly supportive of condemning the behavior and the arguments really focus on what they would want if it was their daughter and why coaches are pressured to make decisions to keep players. Many had gone to the Sentinel, listened to the 911 call, learned more about what happened and countered those who had the facts wrong. For the most part, it was a good discourse on why many athletes are allowed to get away with poor and even criminal behavior.

For my part, it left me wanting to answer some of the more outrageous claims that I hear repeated after every DV story, whether it is this one or even a homicide. Here are my responses to the top four issues raised by Central Florida readers.

1. “But he has never been in trouble with the police before”
Most batterers are not brought to the attention of the police until something very serious happens. The man who killed his wife at Publix had never been arrested, neither at several other alleged murderers this past year.

2. “Harbor House won’t even help a man if he is a victim. What about all the men who get victimized by women?”
Harbor House does provide services to men. In fact last year nearly 10% of the adult clients we served were men. We house them in emergency shelter and two are currently living in our community based housing program. 90% of adult victims are female so it is not an excuse for men who batter.

3. “Women commit most domestic violence or at least it’s 50/50”.
Most domestic violence is committed by men. Women are frequently arrested for causing wounds that were purely defensive in nature. This is one reason we don’t want a 100% conviction rate, too many victims get caught in the system. If you only look at arrests, it can be confusing. You only have to look at the homicides by gender comparison to understand that this is predominately an issue that injures and kills women.

4. “All Chris Rainey did was send a text message – he’s a kid – it was nothing big”
Chris Rainey was arrested for Felony Stalking which is a precursor to many homicides. His arrest involved much more than just a simple text message as you can hear in the 911 call below, including a comment to police to the effect of “just wait to see what happens when you leave.” Andrew Allred, the convicted murderer of Tiffany Barwick and Michael Ruschak sent all his threats via text and social networking pages. It is not something that can be ignored.

Listen to the 911 call here.

As Mike and I both pointed out. This is not an issue about one particular coach or one team; this is a societal issue that is all too clearly being played out right here in our own community.

Carol Wick, LMFT

PO Box 680748
Orlando FL 32868

Ph: 407-886-2244 EXT 227 / Fax: 407-886-0006

To learn more about the Coaching Boys Into Men program violence prevention program, click here. Male volunteers are needed to serve as mentors.


Finally, let's not forget this recent high school incident where another coach minimized the behavior of his players:

Mom says Dr. Phillips teammates beat son

Orlando Sentinel, The (FL) - Thursday, September 9, 2010
Author: Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel

Rena Denson was aghast when her 15-year-old son, Darrion, told her that his teammates on the Dr. Phillips High School football team had beaten him up.

Denson drove onto the practice field Tuesday, complained to the principal and called Orlando police, a report shows.

Darrion was treated at Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children for a concussion, bruises and scrapes, his mother said. He was punched and choked, had chairs thrown at him, was tossed into a trash can and his wallet containing $30 was taken, she said. The reason, according to a police report: Darrion -- a freshman -- had entered the varsity locker room.

A senior who he told his mother was among the attackers weighs 260 pounds and stands 6-foot-4, Denson said. Her son weighs 167 pounds and is 5-foot-11.

According to Denson, Coach Dale Salapa told her the boys got "out of hand" and "carried away." He also said it's customary for freshmen to enter the locker room through the back door only, she said.

"Well, Coach Salapa, this is not slavery," an incensed Denson told the Orlando Sentinel Wednesday. "No longer [should] I as an African-American or my son not be granted access through a front door."

Salapa said he is not permitted to discuss the incident. Principal Gene Trochinski did not return messages. A district spokeswoman, Shari Bobinski, said officials are working with the police and discipline, if any, will be meted out after officers finish their investigation.

One of Darrion's brothers, Martin Denson, arrived afterward. He said Darrion's glasses and a chain around his neck were broken during the scuffle. He said his brother was on the honor roll.

"His record is spotless," said Martin, 17.

The family moved to Orlando two years ago from Brooklyn, N.Y., for a fresh start. Now, Denson and her husband plan to send Darrion to a private school.

Whatever happened to . . . ? #26

Amy Beth Reich
2008-CF-004012-A-O (Orange)
Arson of Dwelling; Burglary of Dwelling w/Damage
Defendant allegedly set her ex-husband's Windermere home on fire.
This case was transferred to Osceola County in June and a non-jury trial was held earlier this month. Defendant was found not guilty by reason of insanity and ordered to continue living with her parents and take her medications. Defendant was removed from GPS monitoring.

Lauren Gress
2009-CF-004312-A-O (Orange)
Aggravated manslaughter of child; Aggravated child neglect
Defendant allegedly starved her 4-mo old twins & one died. Her older children had no signs of malnutrition.
A jury found defendant guilty of 1 count of culpable neglignece & 2 counts of child neglect. Defendant was sentenced to 85.8 months in prison with credit for 66 days time served.  No probation to follow. WFTV coverage here. Sentinel coverage here.

Psalmai Shaneece Thompson
2010-CF-012055-A-O (Orange)
Neglect Child w/o Great Harm
Defendant allegedly left her 3 children (2 mos to 5 yrs old) in a hot car while visiting her boyfriend at Orange Co jail.
No information notice was filed - case dropped.

Marie St Armond
2010-CF-012908-A-O (Orange)
Aggravated Child Neglect
Defendant allegedly left her 5 young children, including a 4-mo old, home alone while she went to apply for food stamps.
No information notice was filed - case dropped.

Formeka R Sanders
2010-CF-012070-A-O (Orange)
Neglect of Child
Defendant allegedly left her 5 children (ages 4 - 12 yrs old) alone while she went clubbing. The 4-yr old was found wandering at 1:45am in the parking lot of their apartment complex.
No information notice was filed - case dropped.

Daron Nickens
2010-CF-001854-A (Seminole)
False Imprisonment
Defendant allegedly attempted to abduct a 10-yr old girl (charge was originally kidnapping). Defendant has a lengthy juvenile criminal record, beginning at age 9.
Defendant pled no contest & was adjudicated guilty.  He was sentenced to 170 days in jail with credit for 170 days time served, ordered to complete rehab at Teen Challenge, and placed on 6 months of community control to be followed by 4 years probation.  Sentinel coverage here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Whatever happened to. . . ? #25

Danzelski A Hester
Attempted 1st Degree Murder; Aggravated Battery Great Bodily Harm
This was a drug related assault that the defendant allegedly commited just after Judge Michael Murphy gave Hester the option to do 1 year of home confinement instead of 6 months jail for violating probation in 2007-MM-5357-A-O (which was a DV Battery case).
Count 1 was nolle prossed. Defendant pled to Count 2, was adjudicated guilty and sentenced to 24 months DOC with credit for 210 days time served.

William Randle Richardson
Intercept Wire/Oral Communications; Video Voyeurism; Loitering or Prowling
Defendant allegedly videotaped under the skirt of his victim as she was shopping for wedding rings at the Mall at Millenia with her fiance
Defendant pled no contest to Video Voyeurism and was sentenced to 4 days jail w/credit for 4 days time served, placed on probation for 12 months and ordered to complete 25 hours of community service.

Celeste Roberta Meyer
Lewd/Lascivious Molestation
Defendant allegedly molested a 7-yr old girl she was babysitting.
Defendant was acquitted by a jury.

Jermie Nakai Nez
Burglary of Dwelling w/ Assault or Battery; Resist Officer w/o Violence; Tamper w/Witness Hinder Comm w/LEO; Assault; Misues Public Sexual Predator Info; Battery; Threaten Public Servant
Defendant allegedly attacked a registered sex offender (having located him using the web), threatened to kill him, and subsequently threatened to sexually assault the officer's daughter while en route to the jail
Defendant pled no contest to counts 2, 4, & 5, was sentenced to 6 months jail and ordered to have no contact with the victim. The remaining counts were nolle prossed.

Robert Acosta
Attempted Murder, Sexual Battery; Battery on Person>65yrs old; Burglary
Defendant allegedly assaulted a friend's elderly mother who lived down the street from his friend.
Defendant was found guilty by a jury of all counts and sentenced to LIFE in the Department of Corrections.  Sentinel report here.

Tyrone Tarmae Dukes
Sexual Battery WDW; Battery; Kidnap w/Intent Commit Felony
Defendant allegedly used a gun to assault victim at 3:15am as she was walking in downtown Orlando - defendant had previously pled in Volusia to Attempted Sexual Battery and sentenced to probation.
Defendant was acquitted by a jury.

Jonathan E Osberry
Kidnap w/Intent to Commit Felony; Aggravated Assault w/Deadly Weapon; Possess Firearm by Minor
Defendant (age 17) allegedly attempted to rape a 40-yr old woman at a hotel in Winter Park.
Case was nolle prossed.
James Lanzer
Lewd/Lascivious Exhibition
Defendant allegedly exposed himself & performed a sex act in front of children on a Lynx bus.
Defendant is deceased.

Jasmine Clairzimon
2nd Degree Murder
Defendant allegedly shot a man in the chest while he was sitting in the backseat of a car.
Defendant was acquitted by a jury.

Christopher James Henson
Lewd/Lascivous Battery; Impregnating Child <16 yrs old
Defendant (age 28) failed to return to his trial on 4/14/10 after the Court recessed for lunch.
Defendant pled no contest to Count 2 and was sentenced to 5 years DOC with credit for 113 days time served.  Count 1 was nolle prossed.

Lakisha Elaine Pickett
Aggravated Battery w/Deadly Weapon (DV); Criminal Mischief
Defendant allegedly backed a car into her boyfriend during an argument (both were allegedly intoxicated).
Defendant pled to Count 2, adjudication was withheld. Defendant was sentenced to 3 years probation, ordered to undergo a substance abuse evaluation, and to have no contact with the victim.

Shastine Pavao
(not DV) RICO; Conspiracy to Commit Racketeering; Fraud; Theft (8cts)
See our previous blogs about this case.
Defendant pled guilty to Count 2 and was given a suspended sentence of 72 months DOC with credit for 112 days time served. Sentence was suspended on condition that she successfully complete 12 years of probation, pay resitution.
John Pavao pled guilty to RICO & is scheduled for sentencing 11/5/10.
Debra Pavao's passport was returned to her 10/4. No new date yet.

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 Judicial Poll

Click here for the 2010 Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Judicial Poll.

Not surprisingly, some judges receive significantly different grades from prosecutors and defense attorneys.

Thanks to the Association for publishing this poll for the public.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Whatever happened to . . . ? #24

Wilfred Bowens
Attempted 1st Deg Murder (3cts); Arson of Dwelling
Defendant allegedly burned the home where he was renting a room when the owners asked him to leave after he allegedly made sexual advances toward their daughter.
Defendant was acquitted by a jury.

Bobby-Lamar Marquise Sims
Possess Controlled Substance; Neglect of Child
Defendant allegedly left his 6-yr and 4-mo old children alone w/crack & razor blades within reach. Co-defendant Tiffany Lewis (the mother) is an Orange Co Corrections Officer.
No Information Notice was filed - case dropped/abandoned

Tiffany L Lewis
Neglect of Child; Possess Cocaine w/Intent to Sell; Accessory After the Fact
Defendant allegedly left her 6-yr and 4-mo old children w/crack & razor blades within reach. Defendant is an Orange Co Corrections Officer.
No Information Notice was filed - case dropped/abandoned

Edwin Antonio-Rafael Cintron
2009-CF-017856-A-O (4/1/09)
Sexual Battery; L/L Molestation
Defendant allegedly raped a 13-yr old girl in the dugout at a baseball field
2009-CF-010302-A-O (7/1/08)
2009-CF-008804-A-O (4/15/09)
2009-CF-009034-A-O (6/19/09)
Lewd/Lascivious Molestation Victim 12-15 yrs old (3 counts); Lewd/Lascivious Molestation Victim<12 years old
Defendant allegedly molested several victims during sleepovers at the family home in Conway Oaks in the above cases
Defendant pled to one count in each case and was sentenced to a total of 12 years DOC + 13 years sex offender probation and was designated as a sex predator by the Court.

Albert T Brooks
Aggravated Battery w/Deadly Weapon; Robbery; Robbery w/Weapon
Defendant allegedly tortured sexual predator (Albert Weisman) w/an aerosal can & cigarette lighter because he thought Weisman was an undercover law enforcement officer (Weisman was lured w/promises of a young prostitute).
Case was nolle prossed (dropped).

Lana Pauline White
Aggravated Battery w/Deadly Weapon (DV)
Defendant allegedly shoved, threw a butter knife at, and hit another woman as she was packing to leave their apartment. The victim allegedly threatened the defendant with scissors and knives.
No Information Notice was filed - case dropped/abandoned

Somele Jean Calixte
Aggravated Child Neglect; Possess Firearm by Convicted Felon; Culpable Negligence; Improper Exhibition of Firearm
Defendant allegedly shot his girlfriend's (Arkeisha Perez 2009MM13037) 5-yr old daugther accidentally - victim's mother initially claimed her 4-yr old was the shooter.
Defendant pled no contest to Aggravated Child Neglect & Culpable Negligence and was sentenced to 10 months jail w/credit for 277 days time served; 1 year probation; no weapons; no unsupervised contact with the victim. The victim's mother may not act as supervisor. Perez previously pled to Perjury and was sentenced to 6 months probation and ordered to complete a parenting class.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whatever happened to . . . ? #23

Christopher Stokes 2010-CF-003094-A-O (left)
Richard Douglas 2010-CF-003094-B-O (right)
Interference w/custody
Defendants allegedly abducted Douglas' 8-yr old nephew at the request of the boy's mother in Oregon & subsequently contacted police to ask if what they did was illegal.
Defendants pled no contest & adjudication was withheld for both. Each was sentenced to 1 day in jail with credit 1 day time served, 24 months probation, complete 100 hours of community service and to have no contact with the victim.

Timothy L Smith 2009-CF-008131-A-O  (left)
Aleisea Nichai Smith 2009-CF-008131-B-O (right)
Get Labor/Svcs by Human Trafficking; Sex Trafficking; Kidnap w/Intent to Inflict Harm/Terror w/Weapon (5cts); Kidnap w/Intent to Commit Felony (2cts); Sexual Battery; Procure Person<18 for Prostitution; Force Another into Prostitution; Derive Proceeds of Prostitution
Defendants allegedly kidnapped a 15-yr old from a bus stop in 2007 and forced her into prostitution.
Timothy pled no contest to Interference with Custody and was adjudicated guilty.
Aleisea pled no contest to one count of Sex Trafficking and was adjudicated guilty.
All other counts were dropped. Both defendants were sentenced to 1 year 14 days in jail with credit for 1 year 14 days time served, given 24 months probation and ordered to have no contact with the victim.

Yehisson Acevedo
Sexual Assault Vic>12 w/special conditions; Larceny; Theft; Burglary w/Assault or Battery
Defendant allegedly raped and robbed a woman after she took Ambien sleep meds.
Acevedo pled to Sexual Battery w/o Bodily Harm & was sentenced to 15 days jail with credit 15 days time served, 8 years sex offender probation and ordered to pay restitution.

Brandon Reed Loverde
False Imprisonment; Battery
Defendant was an OPD officer who allegedly fondled the breast of a lactating woman while working an off-duty detail at Club Firestone.
Loverde pled no contest to disorderly conduct and was sentenced to 1 day jail with credit for 1 day time served and ordered to surrender his law enforcement certification to FDLE.

Luron Edward Pitts
Lewd/Lascivious Molestation Victim<12; Lewd/Lascivious Conduct by Person>17
Defendant is the son of a minister who won the trust of single mothers in his congregation and babysat his victim overnight on five separate occasions. It was during those visits that he allegedly fondled his victim.
Defendant was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 25 years DOC with credit for 115 days time served, lifetime sex offender probation and ordered to have no contact with the victim or her family.